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Beth Shapiro

How To Clone a Mammoth

Hay Festival 2015, 

Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. The evolutionary biologist and pioneer in ‘ancient DNA’ research guides us through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used to resurrect the past.

Beth Shapiro

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First World

Hay Festival 2008, 
International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander, Harriet Lamb of Fairtrade, and Oxfam’s Duncan Green debate how sustainable principles can be managed in our relations with the developing world. Chaired by Jo Confino.

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Nicholas Parsons

How Pleasant to Know Mr Lear

Hay Festival 2009, 
The comedy legend presents a delightful portrait of the nonsensical genius and creator of The Owl and the Pussycat, The Jumblies and The Dong with the Luminous Nose.

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Susan Gathercole

Cambridge Series 5: Working Memory in the Here and Now

Hay Festival 2016, 

Working memory allows us to hold information in mind. How does this influence our everyday lives? Professor Gathercole is Unit Director at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

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Dannie Abse talks to Gwyneth Lewis

Hay Festival 2007, 
The writer discusses his latest collection of poetry Running Late and his memoir The Presence. After his wife Joan died in a car accident in June 2005, he began to write a diary which is both a record of present grief, and a portrait of a marriage which lasted more than fifty years.

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The Collector of Worlds

Hay Festival 2008, 
Ilya Troyanov considers the extraordinary life of Sir Richard Burton, the first westerner to make the hajj to Mecca, discoverer of the source of the Nile, and translator of The Arabian Nights.

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Richard Perceval Graves

The 2010 Housman Lecture: The Name and Nature of Poetry

Hay Festival 2010, 
This year’s lecture is given by the historian and biographer of Robert Graves, TE Lawrence and AE Housman.
Richard Perceval Graves

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Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor talks to Rosie Boycott

In conversation

Hay Festival 2015, 
At the age of 68, with the Catholic Church worldwide engulfed by the sexual abuse crisis, Murphy-O’Connor was a surprise appointment as Archbishop of Westminster. He reflects frankly on the mistakes he himself made and on how he responded to the crisis, and he speaks poignantly of how he navigated the tempestuous first decade of the twenty-first century, offering his opinion on the future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis. His memoir is entitled An English Spring.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor talks to Rosie Boycott

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Ursula Martin

The Scientific Life of Ada Lovelace, a Victorian Computing Visionary

Hay Festival 2016, 

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is famous as  “The first programmer” for her prescient writings about Charles Babbage’s unbuilt mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. Biographers have focused on her tragically short life and her supposed poetic approach – in this talk we unpick the myths and look at her scientific education, what she really did, and why it is important, placing her in the rich context of nineteenth century science, and the contemporary misremembering of  female scientists.

Ursula Martin CBE is a Professor in Mathematics and Computer Science in the University of Oxford, and leads Oxford’s project to digitize Lovelace’s mathematics.

Ursula Martin

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Hans-Ulrich Obrist

Ways of Curating

Hay Festival 2014, 

The co-director of the Serpentine Gallery is one of the art world’s most colourful characters, with an encyclopedic knowledge of art practice and history. He offers a riveting and inspiring understanding of the role of the curator in shaping culture. He talks to Hannah Rothschild.

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Franny Armstrong, Liz Crow and Jasvinder Sanghera talk to Rosie Boycott

Here We Stand

Hay Festival 2014, 

Contributors to Honno’s new anthology about women campaigners discuss how they became politicised, and how they were personally changed by the process of changing the world. Armstrong is director of the climate change blockbuster Age of Stupid, and is now working on a TV drama series based on the true story of the police spies who infiltrated British activist groups and the women who unwittingly had relationships and even children with them. Crow is a disability rights activist and performance artist. Sanghera has won many awards and accolades for her work against honour-based abuse and forced marriage.

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James Campbell

Comedy For Kids

Hay Festival 2015, 
Back by popular demand, it’s James Campbell, with a show for children over six, their parents and anyone who likes comedy without the rude words. James might or might not discuss scooters, Scottish country dancing and what we’ll do with all these gregarious giraffes.
6+ years
James Campbell

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Archie Miles

Heritage Trees of Wales

Hay Festival 2012, 
Steeped in history, surrounded by myth and legend and full of cultural and historical significance, the heritage trees of Wales dominate the Welsh landscape.

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Andrew Robinson

Sudden Genius? Mozart and Marie Curie

Hay Festival 2011, 
Insight into two of the ten arts and sciences lives featured in his revelatory study of The Gradual Path to Creative Breakthroughs. Robinson is also the author of the Genius book in the Very Short Introductions series.

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Marcos Giralt Torrente, Rodrigo Rey Rosa and Joumana Haddad with Guido Tamayo

What we talk about when we talk about love

Cartagena 2012, 
Love is a concept with a thousand and one definitions, and probably the subject most written about in the history of literature. However, we keep asking ourselves, again and again, about its meaning and relevance. Taking as a starting point the famous Raymond Carver story, we ask three writers from three different countries to talk to us about a matter that unites them: Marcos Giralt Torrente, Spanish winner of the 2011 National Narrative Prize for his work Tiempo de vida; Joumana Haddad, Lebanese poet, writer and editor whose latest book is I Killed Scheherazade; and Rodrigo Rey Rosa, the Guatemalan author, translated into English by Paul Bowles and whose latest work is Severina. Chaired by Guido Tamayo.

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Rosa Freedman and Nicolas Lemay-Hebert

Law in the Time of Cholera: Resolving the Dispute between Haiti and the United Nations - University of Birmingham Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

UN peacekeepers are bound, at the very least, to do no harm. But what happens when the peacekeepers bring untold suffering to those they are sent to protect? In 2010 a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers brought cholera into Haiti, a country where the disease had not existed for more than 100 years. More than 800,000 people have been infected and more than 9,000 have died. Yet no remedies have been made available to the victims, and the UN has relied on legal immunity to resist any claims being brought to court.  Freedman and Lemay-Hebert are Senior Lecturers at Birmingham University’s Law School and International Development Department.

photo courtesy of Justin Griffiths-Williams

Rosa Freedman and Nicolas Lemay-Hebert

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Nicky Gumbel talks to Dylan Jones

Alpha Male

Hay Festival 2014, 

Over the last twenty years, the vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton has developed the Alpha Course into one of Christianity’s biggest successes. He discusses his faith and mission with the editor of GQ.

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Digby Jones

Fixing Business

Hay Festival 2017, 

The entrepreneur examines the relationship between business, government and society. He discusses Britain in a post-Brexit world, Donald Trump’s America, and the ‘elephant in the boardroom’ – executive pay.  Lord Jones was Director General of the CBI. In 2007 he was appointed Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment. He talks to Jesse Norman.

Digby Jones

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Helen Fulton

Troy in Wales: Commemorating the Past in Medieval Britain

Hay Festival 2014, 

In medieval Wales, the Trojan legend became a symbol of Wales’ independent past before its colonisation by the Norman and English kings. This illustrated lecture by one of Britain’s leading medievalists reveals the nationalist agenda behind the Welsh version of the Troy story.

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Sheila Hancock talks to Francine Stock

Fictions – Miss Carter’s War

Hay Festival 2015, 

It is 1948 and the young and beautiful Marguerite Carter has lost her parents and survived a terrifying war, working for the SOE behind enemy lines. She returns to England to be one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge. Now she pins back her unruly auburn curls, draws a pencil seam up her legs, ties the laces on her sensible black shoes, and sets out towards her future as an English teacher in a girls’ grammar school. Outside the classroom Britain is changing fast, and Miss Carter finds herself caught up in social upheaval, swept in and out of love and forging deep, enduring friendships. The first novel from the actress and award-winning author of The Two of Us and Just Me.

Sheila Hancock talks to Francine Stock

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Stella Tillyard and Andrew Miller talk to Peter Guttridge

Fictions: Then and Now

Hay Festival 2011, 
The historian’s first fiction Tides of War is an epic, panoramic novel about love and war, set in Regency England and Spain during the Peninsular War; Miller’s Pure is set in 1785, as a young engineer is charged with demolishing Paris’ oldest cemetery.
 

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Muqtada al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq

Hay Festival 2008, 
Award-winning journalist Patrick Cockburn presents a revelatory portrait of the much demonised Iraqi power- broker and leader of the Mehdi militia.

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Diarmaid MacCulloch

The British Academy Platform: Sex and the West

Hay Festival 2015, 

As society becomes more liberal, the Churches often seem more entrenched. The Oxford historian explores how Western Christianity’s complex and often divisive ideas about sex, marriage and gender have their roots in a story that began 3,000 years ago. Chaired by Anita Anand.

Diarmaid MacCulloch

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Gary Shteyngart with David Aaronovitch

Between Communism and Capitalism: Illusions of a happy world

Cartagena 2011, 
The European wars of the 20th century were fought between two irreconcilable ways of understanding the common good; now, at the dawn of a new century, this common good continues to be an unfulfilled promise. Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and selected in 2009 by the New Yorker as one of the most outstanding writers under 40, discusses the issue with the British journalist and writer David Aaronovitch. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Sinclair McKay talks to Mark Skipworth

The Secret History of Bletchley Park

Hay Festival 2012, 
The author discusses his History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There.